Dr Alan Miller has been involved in the use of Virtual World technologies for Cultural Heritage for over 10 years. He is a member of the Open Virtual Worlds (OVW) research group at the University of St Andrews and co-CEO of Smart History, a spin out company specialising in the application of emergent technologies to the promotion, interpretation and preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Prior to that his research was focused around the complementary strands of real-time multimedia operating systems and technology enhanced learning, so the move into Immersive Learning was quite natural. Current projects include “Virtual Binoculars” which support virtual tours of locations remote in time or space and as part of the EU-LAC Museums project the Open Virtual Worlds Group are working with Museums in Latin America and Europe to develop a virtual museum, which integrates the use of 3D environments, spherical and established media to enable the creation of engaging and ground breaking exhibits. The Digi-tourist project of Northern Peripheries and Arctic Programme, OVW are working with museums in Norway, Iceland and Scotland to enable live, remote and interactive virtual reality tours.
Immersive installations for virtual time travel, virtual museums and community engagement
In his presentation Alan Miller will draw upon two major complementary themes: the Virtual Time Travel project and the use of immersive technologies for museums.
Virtual Time Travel
The Virtual Time Binoculars (VTB) project uses mobile phones and the Google Day dream platform to deliver an onsite dual reality experience. As visitors explore the sites of Edinburgh, they can see into the past using their digital time travel binoculars. The Virtual Time Binoculars project is a core component of the Smart History company founded by Dr Katie Stevenson and Dr Alan Miller. More information available at: www.smarthistory.co.uk
Virtual Museums research empowers communities to express their heritage with 360 and 3D technologies. “As well as their traditional role of collecting, preserving and sharing rich collections, museums now find that they play an increasing role in supporting the development of communities.” Museums Association of Britain. This improves user experience, enables community participation and widens engagement with cultural heritage. The Virtual Museum project is an output of a series of workshops that have been held in community museums across Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. The virtual museum provides support for:
- Virtual reality immersive tours using Google Cardboard and mobile phones.
- Creating Galleries of 3D artefacts for embedding in websites, social media and exhibitions.
- Developing Virtual Tours of museums and their environs, using 360 media.
- A community facing wiki, which enables interpretation and engagement.
- Support for upload of media, archiving and creation of meta data.
- A toolkit to support the creation of 360 and 3D media.
More information available at: www.eu-lac.org